Harlem high-rise building that caught fire has a history of violations, complaints

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HARLEM, Manhattan — A two-alarm fire ripped through a high rise apartment building in Harlem Sunday morning, injuring more than a dozen people.

At 10:54 a.m., the blaze burned through the 16th and 17th floors of a 35-story building located at 3333 Broadway.

22 people were injured, mostly with minor injuries like smoke inhalation. Among the victims who suffered minor injuries there were ten firefighters, six children and four civilian adults. Two adults suffered serious non-life threatening injuries.

Residents tell PIX11 it's a "miracle no one died" in the fire.

According to the Department of Buildings there are 59 open violations and 8 open complaints.

One resident who didn't want to be identified says the stairwell doors don't always open.

"I prayed it would open today," she told PIX11.

The woman said she couldn't even see her hand in front of her face because the smoke was so thick.

Another resident said the elevators are always breaking down and the handles are broken off on many of the stairwell doors.  "You could get trapped," they said.

The owner of the building, Urban American released a statement Sunday saying:

"We take safety incredibly seriously. We are continuously improving the property, including upgrading the elevators. We are thankful that there were no serious injuries.  We are working as quickly as possible to recover the hallways and help residents back to their apartments and Schindler Elevator is working as quickly as possible to restore elevator service to cars that were damaged by the water used to fight the fire."

Officials believe the fire was started by an overloaded electrical socket.